Source: HT News Service
Published on: June 16, 2023


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Film Producers Notice a Shift in Delhi’s Allure as a Prime Destination.

Delhi is among Bollywood’ favourite shoot locations, but there is a growing sentiment among line producers that the Capital might be losing its shoot-friendly tag, thanks to the escalating costs.

Line Producer Navmeet Singh’s statement

“Shooting in Delhi has become too expensive, from hotels to historical places. At the moment, only big banners and makers are coming to the shoot for their projects. When it comes to other projects, they are looking at Uttar Pradesh, Haryana or Punjab,” says line producer Navmeet Singh.

If we look back at the shoot schedule of the last few months, it shows that several projects such as Ranveer Singh’s Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, Ranbir Kapoor’s Animal, second season of Pataal Lok, Sara Ali Khan’s Murder Mubarak, Rohit Shetty’s Indian Police Force, Vikrant Massey’s 12th Fail and Kartik Aaryan’s Shehzada were shot in Delhi. Not to forget that Akshay Kumar and Ananya Panday are presently stationed in the city to film their upcoming project — C Sankaran Nair biopic.

Point this out, and line producers mentions that they are all backed by big makers, who have the money to push forward the budget.

Explaining the changing scenario, line producer Ravi Sarin, who has been working for the last 20 years, mentions, “We don’t have many shoots lined up in the coming six month period. The situation is really grim as many line producers are changing their line as well.”

Fimmakers are preferring UP & Punjab over Delhi

Revealing that filmmakers and production units have started to now prefer Uttar Pradesh or Punjab over Delhi, Sarin adds, “In the future, the number of shoots in Delhi will only reduce because it is so expensive. The cost has increased more than 50 percent in the last few years. I can’t name, but I know several makers in the industry who have asked their writers to not write stories around Delhi. Almost 60 percent of shooting has stopped, and the 40 percent will also stop in the next few years.”

Hiked prices for shooting

According to line producers, if one has to shoot at Delhi airport for four hours, one needs to pay ₹10 lakh, for shooting in Delhi metro for one to two hours they need to pay ₹3 lakh, and in NDMC area around ₹4 lakh which used to be around ₹25,000 few years back. In case, a sequence needs to be shot in a train then the makers need to pay ₹10 lakh which they claim used to be around ₹4 lakh.

When it comes to historical places, they mention that the price has gone up from ₹5,000 to ₹1 lakh. For shooting in the MCD area, the makers need to pay around ₹90,000 when it used to be free earlier, and shooting in a college in Delhi University area is around ₹2-2.5 lakh per day.

“The budget just escalates if one decides to shoot in Delhi, which is why makers don’t prefer coming. If they come, they shoot some scenes in the city and move to adjoining areas such as Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad. Delhi is definitely losing the status of shoot friendly state, which as a ripple effect impacts the line producers as well,” mentions location manager Javed Khan.

To this, another line producer Tarun Jain adds, “It is not just government charges, even the people quote really high prices when they get to know that Bollywood is involved. For instance, there is a house in Old Delhi. The owner used to charge ₹25,000, but now quotes anything between ₹5 lakh”.

“It has become really expensive as people ask moolah money. Sometimes, people change the cost as soon as it is finalised. The makers are heading to UP, Madhya Pradesh because the locations are cheaper and they give bulk permissions. The market in Delhi is becoming weak. Manpower is cheap but not the locations. At the moment, only big projects can afford to come and shoot,” says line producer Tarun Jain, mentioning that the Delhi government’s new filming policy with subsidies to be decided based on a point system is not helpful.

The points are decided taking into account location, branding of the location, involvement of local artistes in the film crew and support staff, expenses during pre-production, production and post-production of the film in Delhi.

“Delhi needs to be price efficient if they want to remain a shooting friendly state. They have made a single-window cleaner, but what about the cost, “asks Sarin. Meanwhile, the government sources dismiss such claims, saying the shootings are “happening in a steady way with big names coming to the city”. “Last financial year, the revenue of NDMC area from the shoot was ₹1.5 crore, which reflects that it is not the right perception,” adds the source.

Disclaimer: Except the headline and synopsis, this story has been taken from the HT News Service